Day 15 - The End of the Blue Cruise

Olympos Travel Blog

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Jamies leads the charge into the sea in the morning. Testing out his new mask and snorkel

On the last day of our Blue Cruise the weather finally decided to do the right thing by us.  When we awoke, the skies were blue and the air was still.  Whilst many of us were tempted to jump straight into the crystal clear waters as soon as we got up, we held back until after breakfast (where the Turkish breakfast routine was broken up by French toast), when I led the charge over the side.  The water cold alright but tolerably so and since there was no breeze to speak of, it wasn’t too cold out of it.  Michelle and I took this dip as an opportunity to play about with the diving mask and snorkel that we’d purchased for ourselves just prior to departing on our travels and amused ourselves by diving to the seabed to gather a number of broken plates and glasses that must have fallen overboard on a previous boat trip.  The captain seemed a little confused as to why we seemed so determined to fill his rubbish bin up with someone else’s junk but we couldn’t stand such a pristine area being littered like that.

Pirates Cave

The waters were clear but in all honesty, the area we’d stopped for the night had nothing interesting to look at.  No fish, coral, etc.  It was great just to paddle around though.

At about 11am the captain raised anchor and took us past the “pirate cave”.  Brooke, Robert and Greg jumped overboard and swam into the caves but the rest of us were too busy still trying to warm up from our previous swim that we lacked the enthusiasm to join them.  The stop at the pirates cave was very short though and the captain quickly moved us on to a sheltered cove, just around the corner from the town where he was to drop us off (Demre).

Could Mish be any happier about the fine weather?

The sunshine continued to warm us all and most of us embraced the opportunity to have one last swim before the end of our trip.  The water wasn’t any warmer but we were able to swim ashore and dry off in the sun before returning for lunch and to pack our bags.

We pulled into Demre at about 3pm and a tender came out to meet the boat (which had moored 30m from the harbour) and gather all of us and our belongings.  Thinking we were unlikely to see most of our fellow passengers again, we all said our goodbyes.  It turned out we a little premature, as they piled us all onto the same bus and drove us into town.

The whole crew (michelle is behind the camera)
  After a 20 minute stop to get some cash out and buy a few souvenirs, It was here that we said goodbye to Phil and Sandi (who were catching a bus back to Fethiye) and Les, Marg, Nick and Greg (who were continuing on the boat on its return journey).  Everyone else climbed back on the bus which drove us the 1.5 hours to Olympos.  Brooke, Kim, Emily and Annie were booked into Bayram.  Shing and Jared were staying at Turkuman.  Michelle and I decided to stay at Kadirs tree houses, along with Mel and Kate.  The two girls went for a proper tree house dorm (one of the few left after the fire which destroyed a large part of the business over the off season) whilst Michelle and I decided to go with the comforts of a bungalow.  The comforts (eg. Ensuite shower and loads of space) were very welcome after 3 nights in a cramped cabin on the boat.
1st mate, Capitan and the cook


Once we had settled in we went to the “Hanger” for a couple of drinks.  Whilst there, Michelle introduced herself to Kadir (the owner) and he and a friend of his who were overseeing the reconstruction activities told them the story of the fire (even showing a video of it capture on a mobile phone).  Michelle then asked about backgammon and Kadir’s mate rose to the challenge of teaching us a thing or two.   Michelle went first and was hurried through her game.  The bloke continually corrected her when she made (what he thought were) poor decisions and hurried her through the game (as the ships captain had done the night before when Michelle played him).

Mish and Jared in his "tree house".
The game was played in high spirits though and despite the guy helping Michelle along he comfortably beat her.  Michelle then told me to play him.  Expecting him to bully me in the same fashion, I tried to play fast and did a reasonable job of keeping up.  He advised me when I’d made a poor decision but unlike when he was playing Michelle, he only told me after the fact.  Cheeky Old b@stard.  I scored a couple of lucky roles though and managed to take him to the last role of the game, when I rolled double twos and pipped him.  There were smiles and handshakes all round while Kadir ribbed his mate for loosing to an Aussie.  Funny stuff.  I still don’t know who was more shocked,   him or me.

We had dinner at Kadirs (it’s inclusive when you stay at Kadirs) and a few beers and then decided that we wanted to see Chimera at night.  There was a guided tour departing at 9pm but a group of us decided to save ourselves a few pennies and walk there ourselves.  I still don’t know who knew where they were going but we did get there.  It took 1.5 hours to get there and we needed to get our feet wet along the way there and back but it was well worth the effort. The flames of Chimera burn eternally.  Gas seeping through the rocks was ignited at some point in the past and has burnt continuously since, or that’s how the story goes.  The fires burn in a number of locations, all within close proximity of each other, on one face of the mountain.  Their flames aren’t huge but they are plenty warm and were very welcome after the long walk in the cold and dark.

We were even happier with our decision to walk there ourselves when we discovered that all those who had paid for the guided tour (which took a minibus to the site) returned only a short while before us.  Whilst we had to walk about 7-8kms each way, their bus route was along a long, slow, winding road so they got back at midnight.  We were in bed by 1am.
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Jamies leads the charge into the s…
Jamies leads the charge into the …
Pirates Cave
Pirates Cave
Could Mish be any happier about th…
Could Mish be any happier about t…
The whole crew (michelle is behind…
The whole crew (michelle is behin…
1st mate, Capitan and the cook
1st mate, Capitan and the cook
Mish and Jared in his tree house.
Mish and Jared in his "tree house".
Olympos Hostels review
When we visited, a recent fire had caused a fair bit of damage but they had almost completed rebuilding. It has a lot of character and during the pea… read entire review
photo by: findmeabeach